Below are the main projects on which I’m currently working.
“Selection and genetic succession in the intertidal – population genomics of Pisaster ochraceus during a wasting disease outbreak and its aftermath”
NSF Biological Oceanography OCE-1737381
PI: Mike Dawson (UC Merced)
Co-PIs: Ian Hewson (Cornell), Pete Raimondi (UC Santa Cruz), & John Wares (U. Georgia, Athens)
The 2013 sea star wasting disease (SSWD) pandemic in Pisaster ochraceus provided a rare opportunity to disentangle the dynamic interaction between natural selection, dispersal, and extreme conditions. With samples bracketing the mass mortality I am exploring the genetic consequences of the event, trajectory of recovery in survivors and offspring, and implications for future events.
Leptasterias sp. was also affected by SSWD. With a stark contrast in life history to the high gene flow spawning P. ochraceus, Leptasterias broods its offspring to a crawl away phase and has low gene flow. I aim to explore the genomic differences and similarities between these two species (and others) spanning the SSWD episode.